Turning plastic bottles into new products for Low-Middle
income countries

 

Project Background

Circular Plastic is funded under the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Challange Cluster and brings together a collection of previous GCRF projects which aim to tackle the ever-growing challenge of managing plastic waste in Low Middle-Income Countries through frontier technologies such as 3D printing and user-centred design.

AIMS & OBJECTIVES

The project aims to establish solutions to plastic waste in Low Middle-Income Countries by utilising 3D printing to create new products and facilitate entrepreneurship and employment.

1

Investigate  current technology for plastic waste management in Low-Middle Income countries.

2

Create two hubs in Nigeria and Rwanda to explore opportunities for plastic recycling and 3D printing. 

3

Develop documentation to support future hub creation in Low-Middle Income countries.

4

Create innovative, user-centred products which highlight the entrepreneurial possibilities of the technology.

5

Develop a network of stakeholders and partners, through regional knowledge sharing events.   

 

Process

Using co-design, technology optimisation and product design thinking to identify product opportunities, an international team of three academic partners and three NGOs translated the findings from research into design outputs and a mobile manufacturing unit. 

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User Centered Design

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Industrial Design

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Technology Optimsation

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Mobile Manufacturing

 

CASE  STUDY

The harvesting of fruits by family farmers in central-south Rawanda represents a key economic activity but the likelihood of damage is high and can result in significant loss of saleable product. 

The Customised Fruit Picker is a long-reaching attachment which the length and spacing of tangs are dedicated to the type and size of local crops. The diameter of the attachment socket matched the typical diameter of locally-sourced bamboo. 

 

Awards

Circular Plastic has identified creative product opportunities that add value to plastic waste, using local manufacturing processes and user-centred design.

 

Partners 

This project is supported by a wide range of academic and NGO partners in the UK and Africa. 

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AWARDS

The project was awarded a Silver International Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Design Society of America. 

 

Read more 

 
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We would love to hear from you if you are interested in the project. 

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